How To Make Leah Chase’s Braised Quail Recipe: Two Ways


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Leah Chase left behind a legacy that transcends the boundaries of the kitchen.

Her recipes, a blend of tradition, innovation, and soul, have cemented her status as a culinary pioneer.

Among her celebrated dishes, braised quail stands as a shining example of her ability to elevate simple ingredients into a symphony of flavors.

In this article, we’ll explore two ways to cook and serve braised quail. We’ll also give some suggestions for how to serve this tasty bird.

Join us as we explore how to recreate these iconic dishes, ensuring that Leah Chase’s legacy continues to inspire and nourish souls around the world.

1. Leah Chase’s Braised Quail With Crab Apple Jelly

Leah Chase’s approach to Braised Quail with Crab Apple Jelly marries the rustic with the refined, creating a dish that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious.

The preparation begins with the careful butchering of the quail, splitting down the back and flattening, a technique that ensures even cooking and maximizes the surface area for seasoning.

A simple but effective seasoning of salt and pepper enhances the natural flavors of the quail.

In a skillet, the melding of butter and vegetable oil creates the perfect medium for browning the quail. This initial sear is crucial, developing a rich flavor foundation while achieving a golden, crispy exterior.

Adding water and the subsequent simmering process allow the quail to cook gently, ensuring the meat remains tender and juicy, absorbing the essence of the butter and oil.

The masterstroke of this dish lies in the application of crab apple jelly.

Brushed over the quail towards the end of cooking, the jelly adds a layer of complexity, introducing a sweet and tart dimension that cuts through the richness of the meat.

This glazing process not only imbues the quail with a distinctive flavor but also results in a beautifully glazed presentation that is the signature of Leah Chase’s culinary style.

2. Dooky Chase Grits And Quail

The Dooky Chase Grits and Quail recipe exemplifies Leah Chase’s flair for combining traditional Southern elements with her unique culinary vision.

The dish begins with the expert seasoning of quail, a balance of salt and pepper that enhances without overwhelming.

The cooking of the quail in a blend of butter ensures a rich, caramelized exterior while maintaining the tenderness of the meat within.

The addition of plum jelly not only contributes a sweetness that complements the savory notes of the quail but also adds a glossy, appetizing finish.

The use of grape tomatoes in the dish introduces a fresh, acidic balance, cutting through the richness of the meat and jelly. These tomatoes, simmered in the pan juices, become little bursts of flavor that add depth and contrast to the overall dish.

Deglazing the pan with water captures the fond (browned bits) left from browning the quail, incorporating these flavors back into the sauce and ensuring that no aspect of flavor is lost.

Accompanying the quail, the grits are a masterpiece in their own right.

Prepared with a careful blend of butter, garlic, milk, and heavy cream, they achieve a creamy, comforting texture that serves as the perfect base for the quail.

The addition of both cheddar and parmesan cheese to the grits introduces a savory depth, with the cheeses melting into the mixture to create a rich, flavorful backdrop that complements the nuanced sweetness of the plum jelly and the robust flavors of the quail.

What To Serve With Quail

Complementing Leah Chase’s quail dishes with the right accompaniments can transform a meal into a celebration of flavors and textures.

A side of lightly dressed greens, such as arugula or spinach, can offer a peppery bite that contrasts beautifully with the richness of the quail.

For a heartier side, roasted root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, or sweet potatoes, caramelized to perfection, can add a sweet and earthy dimension that grounds the meal.

A grain dish, such as wild rice or barley pilaf, flavored with herbs and a hint of citrus, can provide a nutty, comforting base that pairs well with the complexity of the quail.

These grains not only add substance to the meal but also absorb the flavors of the sauce, enhancing the overall dining experience.

For a refreshing finish, consider a simple fruit salad comprised of seasonal fruits. The natural sweetness and acidity of the fruit can cleanse the palate between bites, offering a light contrast to the meal’s savory elements.

When selecting beverages, a medium-bodied red wine with fruity notes can complement the richness of the quail, while a crisp white wine or sparkling mineral water provides a refreshing counterbalance to the dish’s depth.

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up our culinary journey through Leah Chase’s kitchen, it feels like we’ve been on a warm and enriching visit with the “Queen of Creole Cuisine” herself.

Leah Chase cooked with her heart, blending ingredients with a touch of soul and a lot of love, teaching us that food is much more than sustenance – it’s a language of care, a medium of culture, and a bond that ties us to others.

Through recreating these recipes, we do more than just pay tribute to a culinary icon; we bring a piece of her vibrant spirit into our homes.

Each dish tells a story, a reminder of the power of gathering around a table to share a meal, laughter, and stories.

Let’s cherish these recipes, not just for the flavors they bring to our tables but for the connections they foster and the memories they create.

In the end, it’s these moments, shared over dishes lovingly prepared, that truly nourish us.

Leah Chase knew this well, and through her legacy, she invites us all to keep the tradition alive, one meal at a time.

How To Make Leah Chase’s Braised Quail Recipe: Two Ways

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Other Recipes


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Barbara Hunt


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